How to get rid of Pantry Moths
We've most probably all had Pantry Moths in our pantry at some point or another and lets face it, it's not only annoying, but it's also wasteful and super gross too!
So, what are Pantry Moths and how did they get there?
Pantry Moths, also known as weevils are part of the Pyralidae moth family. They are harmless but extremely inconvenient once they start getting into your food as they lay their larvae inside foods such as flour, pastas, grains, cereals and nuts. The female moths lay anywhere between 60 to 400 eggs which will hatch in 3-15 days. The average lifecycle for a weevil is around 4-7 weeks This is why one pantry moth can soon lead to an infestation.
Most frightening of all is that often these pests are already in our food items in the supermarket. But there are a few tips and tricks on what you can do to keep them away.
START BY REMOVING....EVERYTHING FROM YOUR PANTRY
This may seem like a mammoth task but it will allow you to organize and de-clutter your pantry along the way and as a general rule this is a job that needs doing every 6months or so. Removing all your pantry containers will allow you to be able to thoroughly clean in all those corners, which is especially where the pantry moths like to hide out.
CLEAN YOUR PANTRY SHELVES
Weevils are repelled by the smell of vinegar and essential oils such peppermint, eucalyptus and lavender and will deter these critters from coming back to haunt you again.
Start by washing all your pantry shelves and corners of the ceiling with warm soapy water then wipe them down with a 50-50 solution of white vinegar, a few drops of essential oil and warm water to kill off any remaining larvae.
Disinfectant or Bleach will also work, but if you are trying to maintain a low-tox kitchen then vinegar and essential oils are your safest option.
CHECK FOR OUT OF DATE ITEMS
Once your food items have been decanted into food storage containers, it can be near impossible to remember the expiry dates, especially if its an item which doesn't get used that often.
Having an overcrowded pantry with food containers that have been left undisturbed for a long period of time can be a thriving place for pantry moths! It may be a good idea to invest in some ''Expiry Date Sticker Labels'' which can be stuck to the back of, or bottom of your Pantry containers and written over the top of.
Food items in their original supermarket packaging that are out of date and / or are infested should be disposed of as they are. This should be done outside to stop the pantry moths from re-entering into your home.
If your foods are in reusable containers, the contents should be disposed of carefully and the containers washed thoroughly.
INSPECT YOUR PANTRY CONTAINERS
Moths are easy to spy as they will usually be flying around your pantry or inside your food storage containers. However, Weevil larvae are small (around 10mm long), but they can be easy to detect in your food. The larvae are white with a brown tip and you may even see some movement in your food.
You will need to inspect each food storage container or bag individually for any unwanted visitors residing in there. Once sighted, dispose of the problem immediately and wash your containers with hot soapy water.
INVEST IN AIRTIGHT PANTRY CONTAINERS
If your foods are stored in their original packaging, the chances are that your pantry moths will return time and time again.
So, if you haven't already, now would be a good time to invest in some airtight pantry containers and some matching airtight spice jars to avoid the problem from re-occurring and solve the problem long-term. When choosing your Pantry containers, go for clear jars so that it will be easier to identify any weevils if they return.
Even decanting your food into mason jars or old Moccona Coffee jars will do the job too if you are on a budget. You can also spruce up your food storage containers with our waterproof kitchen labels so that you will be able to easily identify their contents.
CLEAN YOUR PANTRY CONTAINERS
Wash your pantry containers in hot soapy water or place them in the dishwasher. If you have push top containers, there is a likely chance that you will need to remove the lids and the seals so that no larvae are left lurking around in there waiting to hatch.
Cleaning your pantry containers is a vital step to exterminating your pantry moth infestation and this step is not to be skipped!